West Coast Leaders Recommit to Climate Partnership

In the latest of several climate agreements among Pacific Coast governments, Oregon, California, Washington, and British Columbia in Canada signed a new partnership today recommitting the region to climate action.

The document provides for collaboration between the four regional governments to accelerate a transition to a low-carbon economy, investing in climate infrastructure like EV-charging stations and a clean electric grid, and protecting communities from climate impacts like drought, wildfire, heat waves and sea-level changes.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and British Columbia Premier John Horgan signed the Pacific Coast Collaborative Statement of Cooperation Thursday at the Presidio Tunnel Tops in San Francisco.

Promoters of the project, which opened earlier this year, have hailed it as a model for building climate resiliency in urban areas and providing equitable access to green spaces.

According to a press statement, the four leaders came together to “continue to strengthen regional approaches and connections to help move essential climate work further and faster.”

The Presidio Tunnel Tops in San Francisco, Calif.

“The West Coast is united as we lead the way towards a clean energy future that helps our entire region and economies thrive,” said Brown. “In Oregon, we have set ambitious goals to reach 100% clean energy sources, reduce carbon emissions, and comprehensively address climate change.

“We are committed to addressing the impacts of climate change while also meeting the needs of our most vulnerable communities. Together, we are showing that it is possible to address climate change and create good-paying jobs at the same time, as we move towards a stronger, cleaner, equitable future.”

The agreement includes promises to expand communities’ access to low-carbon, climate-resilient technologies, invest in electric-vehicle charging and hydrogen refueling stations and increase forest resiliency across the region to minimize the occurrence, impact and spread of devastating wildfire and smoke.

The effort is part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, consisting of the leaders of the three states and one Canadian province along with the cities of Portland, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles, which combine to represent more than 57 million people and $3.5 trillion in GDP.

All share ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to at least 80% by 2050 — including Oregon, which is moving toward 100% clean energy on one of the most ambitious timelines in the nation.

The state was the first in the country to pass coal-to-clean legislation in 2016, with the state’s last coal plant being demolished just last month. The state also recently hit its goal of putting 50,000 electric vehicles on Oregon roads — while offering rebates to make EVs more accessible to everyone.

EV rebates are now provided for people with low incomes, and for used EV purchases — the first state in the country to do so. Congress followed Oregon’s lead by including tax credits for used electric vehicles in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Following California, Oregon is also developing its own Advanced Clean Cars II regulation to move to 100% zero-emission new vehicles by 2035.

Leaders also made Oregon has made historic investments in wildfire prevention, mitigation, and response to help create fire-adapted communities and ensure firefighters have the tools and resources needed to fight fires made more intense by the impacts of climate change.

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